DEAR JERRY: Your "My Home Town" column several years ago listed more of these promotional records for towns in Texas, than any other state.
Have you added any more to the list, and if so, does Texas still rule?
I was glad to see there was a record made for Evansville. Having never heard it, can you tell us what they said about us?
Len Shipley, Evansville, Ind.
DEAR LEN: For those unfamiliar with these attention-grabbing tunes, they were made in 1961 and '62 by Production Advertising Merchandising Service (PAMS), of Dallas. Most ran 90 seconds and included mention of a local radio station's unique call letters, and that they had "the modern sound," or a similar glowing comment. The customer's call letters and AM frequency were often all or part of the label name.
For those personalized records, only the station placing the order would get one, not that anyone else in the market would broadcast that a competitor was the channel with "the modern sound."
The singer on all but a few is Terry Lee Jenkins, who may also be shown as Terry Lee, Terry Lea, or just Terry.
Our verified town total now has 85 different custom recordings of "My Home Town," and that includes a few for Canadian and overseas cities.
For collectors, most "My Home Town" 45s can be found in the $10 to $30 range, but the price could double for ones with custom picture sleeves.
With PAMS based in Dallas, they likely had more radio contacts in Texas. Thus far we have confirmed these 18 versions of "My Home Town" dedicated to Texans:
Abilene; Austin; Brownwood; Bryan-College Station; Corpus Christi; Dallas; Del Rio; Denison-Sherman; Fort Worth; Henderson; Houston (#1); Houston (#2); Lubbock; Lufkin; Midland; Orange; Tyler; and Waco.
This is the updated list:
Bryan-College Station, Texas
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, West Virginia
Clovis, New Mexico
Corpus Christi, Texas
Del Rio, Texas
Elmira, New York
Farmington, New Mexico
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (#1)
Houston, Texas (#2)
Jamestown, New York
Kennett, Missouri (unconfirmed)
Knoxville, Tennessee (#1)
Knoxville, Tennessee (#2)
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lincoln, Nebraska (KLIN version)
Lincoln, Nebraska (no mention of KLIN)
Little Rock, Arkansas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Providence, Rhode Island
Santa Maria, California (vocal by Dan Alexander)
St. Joseph, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Troy, New York
Washington D.C. (#1)
Washington D.C. (#2)
Wichita Falls, Texas
Williamson, West Virginia
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Here is what Terry Lee Jenkins had to say, er, sing, about Evansville in 1961. This is a "My Home Town" recording that makes no reference to a radio station:
Let me tell you about Evansville, on the banks of the Ohio
In the valley of opportunity it's a wonderful place to go
Beautiful, busy, big of heart, a city of renown
Evansville, Evansville, that's my home town
I've seen some fabulous cities, in my travels 'round the world
London, Rome, and Tokyo, I've given them all a whirl
I know why they sing of Paris in the spring, but no place I've found
Beats Evansville, Evansville, that's my home town
Shopping centers and amusement parks, it's the city of champions too
There's a stadium and an art museum, and Indiana's only zoo
I recommend it, yes my friend, as the finest town around
I mean Evansville, Evansville, that's my home town
IZ ZAT SO? For valuable contributions to this topic, we are extremely grateful to John Landers.
Also, it was John who discovered five variations of "My Home Town" crafted especially for businesses. Each uses the same instrumental track, and vocalist Terry Lee, but the lyrics are strictly about the customer.
Chiara Park Caravans
Stop-n-Go Restaurants (full vocal)
Stop-n-Go Restaurants (has instrumental bridge for local announcer's pitch)
Thalhimers Dept. Store (Winston-Salem, N.C.)